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Susan Shopmaker Wins BAFTA Award for Best Casting

The accomplished casting director and lecturer in Acting won for casting Alexander Payne’s The Holdovers.

Congratulations to Susan Shopmaker, Lecturer in Acting, for receiving the BAFTA Award for Best Casting for The Holdovers.

In her acceptance speech, she referred to working on the film as her “dream job” and “one of the highlights” of her career.

Shomaker also praised the entire cast and crew when she shared,

“James Baldwin said, ‘The longer I live, the more deeply I learn that love, whether we call it friendship or family or romance, is the work of mirroring and magnifying each other’s light.’ Alexander and everyone who worked on this movie did just that. May we all remember that this is our common goal, to magnify the light in others.”

See the entire speech below.

One of independent film’s most respected casting directors, Shopmaker was responsible for casting the critically acclaimed feature directed by Oscar-winner  Alexander Payne (The Holdovers is currently Certified Fresh with a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes’ Tomatometer).

The film stars Paul Giamatti, Da’Vine Joy Randolph, and newcomer Dominic Sessa, who plays the role of a New England boarding school student who Shopmaker found—where else—at a New England boarding school after seeing hundreds of actors for the part.

Shopmaker has over 20 years of feature film credits to her name. In 2018 she won the Casting Society of America’s Artios Award for Eliza Hittman’s Beach Rats and previously won an Artios Award for Sean Durkin’s acclaimed Sundance drama Martha Marcy May Marlene, and received nominations for Darius Marder’s Academy Award-winning film Sound Of Metal, Goat (Andrew Neel), James White (Josh Mond), Afterschool (Antonio Campos), and Disney’s Enchanted.

Television work includes the Amazon series Dead Ringers and both seasons of Terence Nance’s Random Acts Of Flyness for HBO.

In 2023, Shopmaker’s work included casting The Iron Claw with Zach Efron and Jeremy Allen White, and Memory with Jessica Chastain and Peter Sarsgaard.

Another Acting Connection

Renowned voice and dialect coach Thom Jones ’91 (acting) helped prepare Da’Vine Joy Randolph for her role in the film, for which she earned the BAFTA for Best Supporting Actress, adding to her previous wins in the same category at the Critics Choice and Golden Globe Awards.